There are nearly six million Americans with Alzheimer's disease, and every 65 seconds, someone new is developing the disease. If you have a loved one with this disease, you understand the rapid decline in health that someone with this disease can experience. When you are a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer's, you must be patient and flexible. You must learn how to reduce their frustrations. You can do this by changing little things in their daily tasks. Here are some practical tips to help you minimize their distractions and challenges.
Create a Simple Schedule That Follows a Routine
It is important to take the time to create a schedule that follows a specific routine each day, since this helps to make every day less confusing and frustrating for your loved one. Individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease still have the ability to learn a routine and follow it — in fact, it is good for them. Try to keep doctor's appointments and bathing for when they are refreshed and alert. It's okay to keep some flexibility within the schedule for when your loved one feels spontaneous —because there will be those times.
Take Your Time
Your loved one is still the same person that he or she used be, but it will take him or her more time to perform the same old tasks. So, make sure that you give him or her breaks whenever they are needed. Schedule additional time throughout the day for certain tasks so that you don't have to rush your loved one.
Offer Choices (Sometimes)
While it is not good for your loved one to have too many choices because it can confuse and agitate him or her, it is still important for him or her to have choices available each day. For instance, in the morning, allow him or her to have two outfits to choose from for the day. Give your loved one the choice between a hot or cold beverage to drink with a meal. Ask your loved one if he or she would prefer to rest and watch a movie or go outside for a walk.
Minimize Distractions Whenever Possible
When there is something going on in the background, it makes it difficult for an individual with Alzheimer's to focus on the task at hand, whether that is a conversation, eating, or something else entirely. For example, whenever you or someone else is having a conversation with the loved one, it is important to minimize distractions — turn off the TV and music that is playing —so that your loved one is able to concentrate fully on the conversation.
If caring for your loved one becomes too challenging, there are places like The Independence Houses that can help.Share